My daughter is home from China. Yesterday's homecoming was not the reunion at the airport that we were envisioning taking place a week from now.
I would never and could never presume to speak for what our precious friends are going through. But since my daughter walked this road so closely alongside them last week, it has touched our family in a profound way as well. We are dealing with grief in our home.
A good friend suggested I study the "cycles of grief" and become acquainted with the grieving process, and then just encourage her to talk about it when she feels like it. Good advice. Of course, I want to be careful what psychology I read, having learned to stay away from the "Man Most High" theology, which so permeates even Christian psychology. Any psychological help I embrace must hold a very high view of God.
This morning I came across the following article which I found particularly helpful. Exploring Myths and Transformation In The Grief Process. For Christians, the "grief cycle" has been transformed. We have a Redeemer. We can grieve with hope. Please read the article if your life has been touched by grief. (And, in this Genesis 3 world, whose life hasn't?)
I certainly do not have any great insights to share at this point. She only arrived home from the airport yesterday and we have not yet begun to get back to any sort of "normal" here. For us, that time is much closer than for our friends.
But, there is grace.
When we were going through our adoption, I read John Piper's book, Future Grace. (The first 3 chapters are available for download here.) I cannot stress enough what a profoundly helpful book that is for any Christian, but I almost feel like it should be required reading for any Christian adoptive family. The day before they were to say goodbye to Johanna, I told my sweet daughter that there was grace already apportioned to her for the day ahead. God already knew she would need it, and it was there for her... waiting.
And it was.
The road ahead is a long one for our friends. I don't know what it will be like for my daughter. But, like the above article says,
"...the historic, Christian Faith actually provides the possibility of a more hopeful, less messy experience of grief by providing a strong Redeemer – a living Person who calls Himself “The Way, Truth, and Life” – and who enters our world to transform it, by “bearing our griefs and sorrows” (Isaiah 53). His victory at the cross, triumphal resurrection, and promise to begin renewing all things right now (especially our hearts of stone), as well as a future new creation where death is finally and completely removed, changes everything. No longer do those who look to him need to sorrow “as those who have no hope” (I Thess. 4:13)."
Please, please continue praying for our friends. And for Johanna.